Italy's Draghi Discussed Italy-Spain Pipeline Idea with Sanchez

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Italy's Draghi Discussed Italy-Spain Pipeline Idea with Sanchez

Flags of Spain & Italy (© Shutterstock/Aritra Deb)
Flags of Spain & Italy (© Shutterstock/Aritra Deb)

Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, announced on Thursday, March 31, 2022, that he had discussed plans to construct a gas pipeline from Italy to Spain with the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, in a bit to help Europe is shifting from Russian gas dependency.

Draghi said that they discussed the idea of the Italy-Spain pipeline both in Rome and at the European Council.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Europe has shifted its focus on finding alternative gas supplies to diversify its supply. Currently, Russia supplies over 40% of its gas to entire Europe.

According to Draghi, the southern Mediterranean countries of Europe have started realizing that they hold great potential for becoming great hubs for gas and hydrogen in the future.

Spain is home to the largest regasification capacity in Europe, but bottlenecks have been the main hindrance to transporting the gas into Europe through the Pyrenees.

Italy, in the meantime, has pipeline connections in Libya, Algeria, and Azerbaijan, and according to Draghi, replacing about 30 to 40% of all Russian gas supplies can be done immediately. Replacing the rest of the supply is much harder, hence the need for the Italy-Spain pipeline to boost supplies.

Spain-based gas transporter, Enagas, said on Thursday, March 31, 2022, that it was considering options with operators in Madrid and other neighboring countries to boost Spain's interconnections to enable them to transport hydrogen and gas.

Eni, a state-controlled energy group, has noted that gas projects in East Mediterranean countries could play a pivotal role in assisting Europe in diversifying its gas sources.

Draghi noted that the European Union Commission is also looking into the feasibility of the Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) pipeline to help in the diversification. The EastMed pipeline stretches 1900km with a capacity to transport 10 million bcm of gas annually to Southeast European countries, including Italy.